LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's basketball team avenged an early-season loss to Bowdoin in a convincing 69-53 win over the Polar Bears at Alumni Gymnasium in the teams' NESCAC matchup on Saturday afternoon.
The win improves the Bobcats to 7-8 (2-2 NESCAC) while the Polar Bears (10-4, 2-1 NESCAC) drop their first conference game of the season.
The Bates bench proved to be the difference in the game, holding a 38-14 scoring edge led by a game-high and career-high 19 points from first-year Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) and 17 from junior Allie Beaulieu (Swampscott, Mass.). Sophomore Meredith Kelly (Cohasset, Mass.) scored 14 points while senior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) added 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Bobcats. Senior Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) dished out eight assists.
Bowdoin was paced by 14 from Jill Henrikson and 11 from Amy Hackett. Alexa Barry had four points and ten rebounds for the visitors.
After a tightly-played opening 16 minutes, the Bobcats used a late run to take a commanding lead at intermission. After Hackett trimmed the Bates lead to 22-20 on a pair of free throws with 6:11 remaining in the period, Brown and Beaulieu netted three-pointers to spark a 12-2 surge that gave the hosts a 34-22 edge at the break.
Bates continued its hot shooting out of the locker room, as Burns and Dobish knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to quickly increase the lead to 18 points. The Bobcats pushed the lead to 20 points, 54-34, following a Kelly lay-in with 10:45 to go.
The Polar Bears attempted to chip away at the substantial lead, as a 14-4 run, capped by a Henrikson lay-in that closed the gap to 58-47 with five minutes to go. That would be as close as the visitors would get, however, as the Bobcats answered with a 6-0 spurt to put the contest out of reach.
Bates finished 26-56 (46.4%) from the field for the game and connected on 7-22 attempts (31.8%) from long distance. Bowdoin hit just 1-12 from three-point range (8.3%) and finished 20-55 (36.4%) from the field. Bowdoin held a 36-32 advantage on the glass but turned the ball over 19 times. The Polar Bears had defeated the Bobcats 66-60 in a December 8 contest played in Brunswick.
Bates returns to action on Friday, with a NESCAC game at Connecticut College starting at 6pm. The game can be followed online via live stats.